Dog Fighting in the U.S.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 people in the United States fight dogs. Despite the animal advocates' efforts to stop dogfighting this bloody "sport" is reported in many regions of the country.
Some time ago the underground dogfighting activity came into the spotlight because of Michael Vick’s case. This professional American football quarterback was implicated in an illegal interstate dogfighting ring that had operated for over five years. His case has revealed not only the sufferings of innocent dogs but also all the ugliness of this dirty “business”.
The dogs, fighting for the spectators' entertainment and gambling, often get severe and even fatal injuries. Sometimes they die of blood loss, exhaustion, or infection. Sometimes they are killed by their pitiless owners if unable to win again in their matches.
The breeds of dogs employed in illegal dogfighting vary from traditional pit bulls to Russian fighting dogs. People who view dogfighting as a form of amusement are in fact supporting this criminal activity through their paid admission and attendance. The whole situation which harms both animals and people is demanding to completely stop dogfighting in the US.
Russian Dog Fights
Dogfighting in Russia has surged in popularity since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Laws prohibiting this activity have been passed in Moscow and some other large cities, but Russian dog fights are still widely practiced in other places. Thus, they are commonplace in the Southern regions of Russia, like Chechnya and Dagestan, where the local authorities regard the dogfighting as the “national tradition”. According to them, this "sport" has roots in conventional contests in which shepherds were testing their dogs and celebrating their wolf-fighting abilities.
The Russian dog fights usually involve massive, thick-headed Russian wolf-killers, like the famous Caucasian Mountain dog, and the Central Asian Shepherd. The All-Russian Association of Volkodavs (wolf-killers), which unites more than 1,000 owners of Russian fighting dogs, even sponsors a "national fighting championship" and holds its tournaments almost openly.
On Sunday afternoons in clandestine areas outside Moscow owners place their Russian fighting dogs inside a ring, caged with chicken wire, to go one-on-one with another dog. Dozens of people watch and bet, some of them use video cameras to capture the most fierce fights. Unfortunately, even children are sometimes present at these gatherings.
The legality of Russian dog fights is not quite clear. Russia's criminal code forbids cruelty to animals. On the other hand, it is quite loyal to "national traditions". Many Russians are now demanding from their government to stop dogfighting throughout the country.